Here’s a letter I sent to a large number of California State officials about California Proposition 19, to legalize marijuana in California. I support it not because marijuana isn’t so bad, but rather that marijuana is actually good for you. Here’s what I wrote.
My name is Marc Perkel. If you Google my name you’ll get about 25,000 web pages about me. I am a marijuana smoker. I have smoked marijuana sine I was 18. I’m now 54 years old. so I have a lot of personal experience with marijuana and I have met thousands of fellow pot smokers. One of my more famous pages on the subject is this one, “Telling Teenagers the truth about Smoking Pot”.
After 36 years of pot smoking I consider myself somewhat of an expert on how pot affects a person. The bad effects are fairly insignificant. The good effects are substantial. Pot has made me a significantly smarter person and I have a long list of accomplishments that were marijuana inspired.
First – I will admit that I had talent even before smoking pot. I designed and built my first computer at the age of 15-17 (1970-1972) out of pin ball machine relays. All self taught.
Started smoking pot in 1974. One of the things I noticed was the it significantly enhances creative thinking. It allowed me to think of things and come up with ideas that I would not normally have thought of. Not that I don’t have a lot of ideas not stoned. But when I’m stoned the ideas come much faster.
During my life as a stoner I taught myself electronics. I started out doing electronic repair, first home electronics, radios, televisions, stereos, etc. Then I got an FCC license and moved on to transmitters. I got the FCC license (First Class) after starting to smoke pot.
I branched out into repairing marine electronics. Then hospital equipment. Fixed CB radios for consumers and law enforcement back when most police had CB radios.
In 1979 I decided I needed to move into computers so I built one in 1979 as my education into computers and software. I wrote an operating system in binary from switches on the front panel. Within a year I was writing my own computer languages.
I taught myself how to fix arcade machines and built a few custom computers for hire. One controlled a laser show. Another was designed to run environmental controls for chicken houses in Arkansas. I designed the hardware and wrote the operating systems and the language, and a lot of the work I did was while stoned. Especially when it came to overall design issues. Pot was good for developing the big picture. Not so good however for detail coding.
In 1984 I opened a computer retail store. I got the idea while stoned. I also wrote the advertising, radio ads, and I came up with most of the advertising while stoned. My ads were so good that 10 years after I quit running them people would come up to me telling me they missed my ads on the radio.
In 1989 it was apparent that computers were going to become an appliance and not wanting to be an appliance dealer I migrated into becoming a software company. I designed a menu system for DOS on Novell Networks that were utilities targeted at large corporations as a front end security and menu control system. My Bay Area customers included PG&E and Wells Fargo Bank.
Although most of the coding was done not stoned, the overall design was done stoned. When I was stoned I understood what I wanted, what the interface experience should be like. I made priority decisions deciding that the menu language was going to be simple to use and intuitive as it’s primary design element. The code had to be elegant. I intended to put the power of programming in the hands of non-programmers. And at the time it was the easiest computer language to learn on the planet. And that from the brain of a marijuana smoker.
In the late 1990s as a result of my divorce I determined that I needed to teach myself law. Represented ny lawyers they got a judgment for about 150% of my net work in my ex-wife’s favor so I fired them and decided to learn it myself. For those of you who are lawyers you can appreciate that self taught law isn’t easy. Especially when the court systems are openly hostile towards people who represent themselves. But in spite of the odds I managed to get to the point where I could stalemate the system indefinitely and at social gatherings I’d have judges come up wanting to discuss issues of law with me. I’ve managed to file cases in every level of court both state and federal – including the Supreme Court.
Although I wrote the briefs when I was not stoned, I came up with some of my most innovative strategies while stoned. Sometimes it took media attention to keep the courts in line. So to get that I ran for Congress in 1998, and then US Senate in 2000. (In Missouri) So I learned politics.
I moved to California in late 2000. I became the first system administrator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2001. The only “real job” I had since 1980. (Other than being self employed) I got into the web hosting business and now the spam filtering business. I’m filtering millions of emails every day for about 30,000 people on 4000 domains all over the world. And although I code the filter not stoned, most of my best spam fighting techniques I developed while stoned.
I also write a lot of letters to the editor. I write them and email them to 2500 newspapers. I may be one of the most published letter writers in the country. And the letters I write while stoned are much better and more likely to get printed than the one’s I write not stoned.
And then there’s my greatest accomplishment. At least what I consider greatest. I am the founder of the Church of Real;ity. A religion based on believing in everything that is real. And I came up with the idea for the Church of Reality while stoned. And 3/4 of the Church of Reality docrtine I wrote while stoned. Here’s the web site. This is stoner thought. It speaks for itself. This is the result of marijuana. You read it and you decide if this is the mind of a drug crazed madman.
As you can see if over 36 years of smoking pot if pot were harmful,I simply would not be able to do the things I have done in my life. If I were using Meth, Cocaine, Heroine, or even alcohol or even cigarettes, I simply could not have accomplished these things. If marijuana were harmful, how can I do what I do after abusing it for 36 years?
If not for marijuana, there would be no Church of Reality. Think about it – a religion based on believing in everything that is real. You tell me why the non-stoner world didn’t think of it first!
Enough about me.
People – we live in California. This state the the intellectual mecca of the world. We are the leader in innovative and creative thinking. All the cool stuff is invented right here in the Bay Area. And we are also some of the biggest pot consumers in the world. And it is not a coincidence. Much of California’s innovation, the inventors, the dreamers, are pot smokers. Even Republicans smoke pot here. Here’s a picture of one:
Bill Clinton smoked it. Al Gore “experimented” with it. Obama smoked it. Carl Segan loved it.
Here’s a list of 200 famous people who smoked pot.
Ultimately legalizing pot is good for California. I believe drug aboue will go down because I think people who are attracted to alcohol will switch to pot as the safer alternative. Pot doesn’t make you want to fight or wreck your car like booze does. There are real drugs out there that actually are dangerous that we should be focusing on. Pot is not only harmless, it has a significant up side. It improves the quality of society.
I could go on but this is getting really long. I like Ron Kirkish. I consider him a friend. He is well intentioned. But he’s just plain mistaken. I’ll bet that most of the people on this list has tried pot. Many of them still smoke it. Everyone here has friends who smoke pot. So where is the damage? These people are normal productive people like I am. We are a state of innovative free thinking people who appreciate a high quality of life. We are the leaders of the world. And pot plays a role in keeping us there.
We should embrace it.
Church of Reality
“Accepting reality the way it really is!”